Dr. David Couper

David Couper, PhD

Department of Biostatistics
Deputy Director
Collaborative Studies Coordinating Center
Collaborative Studies Coordinating Center
123 W. Franklin Street, Suite 450, CB #8030
Chapel Hill, NC 27516


Dr. David Couper's faculty appointment is in the Collaborative Studies Coordinating Center (CSCC), a unit in the Department of Biostatistics. 

Dr. Couper has worked at the CSCC since 1998 and has been the coordinating center (CC) Principal Investigator for several clinical trials and observational studies. He is currently PI of the Coordinating Center for the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study, the ARIC Neurocognitive Study (ARIC-NCS) and the Aging and Cognitive Health Evaluation in Elders (ACHIEVE) clinical trial, as well as the PI of the Genomics and Informatics Center for the Subpopulations and Intermediate Outcome Measures in COPD Study (SPIROMICS).

David Couper in the Gillings News

Representative Courses

Intermediate Statistical Methods (BIOS 662)

Design of Public Health Studies (BIOS 668)

Intermediate Linear Models (BIOS 663)

Research Interests:

Data Quality, Epidemiological Methods, Longitudinal Data

Service Activities

Member of the (NIH) National Advisory Dental and Craniofacial Research Council (2018-2021)

Member of the NC TraCS Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) since 2005

Service on DSMBs for various NIH-funded studies

On the panel of statistical reviewers for Circulation, the Journal of the American Heart Association, and JAMA Network Open, plus reviewing of manuscripts for various other journals

Regular and ad hoc peer reviewer for NHLBI, NIAMS, NIAID, NIAAA, NHGRI, NIDDK (on hold while serving the National Advisory Dental and Craniofacial Research Council)

Peer review for Singapore's National Medical Research Council (on hold while serving the National Advisory Dental and Craniofacial Research Council)

Key Publications

Design of the Subpopulations and Intermediate Outcomes in COPD Study (SPIROMICS). R Barr, E Bleecker, D Couper, M Han, E Hoffman, R Kanner, E Kleerup, L Lavange, F Martinez, S Rennard, P Woodruff (2014). Thorax, 69(5), 492-5.

Associations Among 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Levels, Lung Function, and Exacerbation Outcomes in COPD: An Analysis of the SPIROMICS Cohort. Burkes RM, Ceppe AS, Doerschuk CM, Couper D, Hoffman EA, Comellas AP, Barr RG, Krishnan JA, Cooper C, Labaki WW, Ortega VE, Wells JM, Criner GJ, Woodruff PG, Bowler RP, Pirozzi CS, Hansel NN, Wise RA, Brown TT, Drummond MB; SPIROMICS Investigators. (2020). Chest., 157(4), 856-865.

Harmonization of Respiratory Data From 9 US Population-Based Cohorts: The NHLBI Pooled Cohorts Study. Oelsner EC, Balte PP, Cassano PA, Couper D, Enright PL, Folsom AR, Hankinson J, Jacobs DR Jr, Kalhan R, Kaplan R, Kronmal R, Lange L, Loehr LR, London SJ, Navas Acien A, Newman AB, O'Connor GT, Schwartz JE, Smith LJ, Yeh F, Zhang Y, Moran AE, Mwasongwe S, White WB, Yende S, Barr RG. (1970). Am J Epidemiol., 187(11), 2265-2278.

Association of monocyte myeloperoxidase with incident cardiovascular disease: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. Oyenuga A.O. Couper D., Matsushita K., Boerwinkle E., Folsom A.R. (2018). PLoS One, 13(10).

SPIROMICS Research Group. Variability in objective and subjective measures affects baseline values in studies of patients with COPD. Anderson W.H., Ha J.W., Couper D.J., O'Neal W.K., Barr R.G., Bleecker E.R., Carretta E.E., Cooper C.B., Doerschuk C.M., Drummond M.B., Han M.K., Hansel N.N., Kim V., Kleerup E.C., Martinez F.J., Rennard S.I., Tashkin D., Woodruff P.G., Paine R. 3rd, Curtis J.L., Kanner R.E. (2017). PLoS One, 12(9).

Small Dense Low-Density Lipoprotein-Cholesterol Concentrations Predict Risk for Coronary Heart Disease: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. C Ballantyne, E Boerwinkle, D Couper, J Crosby, R Dodge, J Gaubatz, R Hoogeveen, J Jiang, S Kathiresan, W Sun, S Virani (2014). Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology, 34(5), 1069-77.

Impact of differential attrition on the association of education with cognitive change over 20 years of follow-up. M Albert, A Alonso, K Bandeen-Roche, L Coker, J Coresh, D Couper, R Gottesman, M Griswold, G Heiss, D Knopman, T Mosley, M Patel, A Penman, M Power, A Rawlings, A Schneider, O Selnes, A Sharrett, L Wagenknecht, B Windham, L Wruck (2014). American Journal of Epidemiology, 179(8), 956-966.

Development and validation of an ankle brachial index risk model for the prediction of cardiovascular events. L Bouter, I Butcher, J Cauley, D Couper, M Criqui, M Cushman, R D'Agostino, G Debacker, A Folsom, F Fowkes, O Franco, R Hamman, B Hedblad, R Heine, W Hiatt, A Hirsch, A Hofman, M Hunink, J Knottnerus, W Koenig, M Kornitzer, R Langer, A Lee, K Masaki, M McDermott, C Meisinger, J Murabito, G Murray, A Newman, P Norman, M Ogren, J Price, C Stehouwer, H Stoffers, K Sutton-Tyrrell, J Witteman (2014). European journal of preventive cardiology, 21(3), 310-20.

Meta-analysis of loci associated with age at natural menopause in African-American women. C Ambrosone, J Andrews, A Arnold, E Bandera, L Bernstein, A Britton, R Brzyski, A Cappola, C Carlson, G Chen, C Chen, D Couper, L Cupples, E Demerath, S Deming, J Dreyfus, M Evans, N Franceschini, M Garcia, M Goodarzi, C Haiman, T Harris, G Heiss, B Henderson, E John, S Kardia, K Kerr, C Kooperberg, L Le Marchand, G Li, Y Liu, C Liu, K Lohman, X Lu, K Marciante, B McKnight, R Millikan, T Mosley, J Murabito, S Musani, M Nalls, N Nock, A Olshan, M Press, B Psaty, L Raffel, A Rajkovic, J Smith, H Taylor, D Vaiyda, M Wellons, B Windham, N Woods, W Zhao, W Zheng, A Zonderman (2014). Human molecular genetics.

Staff/Administrative Duties

Deputy Director of the Collaborative Studies Coordinating Center


  • PhD, Biostatistics, University of Washington, 1994
  • MS, Biostatistics, University of Washington, 1991
  • MSc, Statistics, University of South Africa, 1982
  • BS, Mathematical Statistics, University of Cape Town, 1977
  • BSc, Mathematics, University of Cape Town, 1975